By: Alysa Rubin, Writer / Follow South Jersey Public Health Intern
SOUTH JERSEY — Last week, New Jersey administered 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses throughout the state, according to Governor Phil Murphy.
The achievement follows the opening and operation of six mega sites for New Jersey residents to receive their vaccines.
In his weekly coronavirus press briefing, Gov. Murphy highlighted New Jersey’s progress in administering vaccines and compared the progress to the rest of America.
“New Jersey is moving forward and moving ahead of nearly every other state in getting our residents vaccinated. We currently rank eighth among all states in doses administered daily, an average of 67,000 administered doses per day,” Gov. Murphy said.
According to New Jersey’s COVID-19 dashboard, more than 2,000,000 vaccines had been administered as of Monday, March 1. The milestone was achieved less than a month after New Jersey reached the one-million mark, and it took the state just one week to reach 2.5 million doses administered. As of 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11, New Jersey was at more than 2.7 million doses administered.
As case numbers continue to trend down, Gov. Murphy is optimistic that the vaccine rollout will only continue to improve. Part of the state’s plan to improve vaccine rollout is asking the federal government for more shots.
“We’ve said this over the past week-plus, we are not expecting to have our dose allocation from the federal government significantly increased until April, although we are on with them, pounding away to get as much as we can,” Gov. Murphy said. “We are moving forward to maximize every single dose we have, and to make sure we reach as many folks who live work and study in New Jersey as possible.”
In addition to requesting more vaccines from the federal government, Gov. Murphy has expanded the eligibility requirements to receive the shot. The following groups of people will become eligible for the vaccine on March 15:
- Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings
- Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, rideshare, and airport employees
- NJ TRANSIT workers
- Motor Vehicle Commission staff
- Public safety workers who are not sworn law enforcement or fire professionals, including probation officers and fire safety inspectors
- Migrant farm workers
- Members of tribal communities
- Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters
To aid vaccination efforts, two more community-based vaccination centers will open at partnering churches in Camden and Jersey City.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.